Sheep Industry Joins Other Red-Meat Industries to Support MPR
July 2005 -- Re-authorize the Mandatory Price Reporting (MPR) provisions for a period of five years. This was the request made to the House Agriculture Committee in a letter sent the beginning of May. Joining the American Sheep Industry Association (ASI) as signators to the letter were: the National Pork Producers Council, the National Cattlemen?s Beef Association, the American Farm Bureau Federation and the American Meat Institute.
The 1999 Livestock Mandatory Reporting Act requires packers to report, among other things, livestock purchase prices to the U.S. Department of Agriculture?s Agriculture Marketing Service. A transparent, accurate and timely market price-reporting system is necessary for producers and processors to be able to make informed business decisions.
Last year, Congress extended MPR until September 30, 2005.
?The sheep industry needs Congress to re-authorize the MPR since all the details of sheep reporting are determined by rule making and we have been diligent in updating the program regularly,? comments Peter Orwick, ASI executive director. ?In fact, importers are now required to provide wholesale lamb-cut prices in the United States, but will only continue if MPR is re-authorized. Companies had to voluntarily provide the information for several weeks in 2004 during a lapse in the authorization, so a five-year program is very important for continuity in sheep-market reporting in this country,? adds Orwick.
NRA Rescinds Sheep Material Policy
At a meeting of the National Renderers Association (NRA) Board of Directors on May 6, they voted to rescind the policy which recommended the exclusion of the collection of sheep materials for rendering.
The NRA policy, which has been in place for many years, recommended voluntary guidelines for renderers not to collect or render sheep material for animal protein (meat and bone meal) use. This was initially put into practice based on a theory of the correlation of scrapie with bovine spongiform encephalopathy (BSE). Since that time, more scientific information has become available and with the implementation of the 1997 feed rule prohibiting the feeding of mamalian derived materials to ruminants, the NRA policy was no longer relevent for BSE risk reduction.
According to the letter from NRA to the American Sheep Industry Association, ?A renderers decision to collect or not collect sheep material will now be based on marketing needs rather than on regulations.?
?This is good news for the U.S. sheep producers and processors who have struggled with offal disposal options for the past 16 years. Producers can use this new policy in discussions on the issue with local companies. There will likely be several renderers who are not exporting meat and bone meal that will now be willing to process offal from sheep,? comments Paul Rodgers, deputy director of animal health for ASI.